Note from BW of Brazil: Once again, another example of how Brazil regularly rejects hair that isn’t straight! We know that in Brazil, many people like to proclaim that “we are all equal” but the fact is that 205 million people may be Brazilians and all of those people are indeed human beings, but these people are often treated according to their physical appearance and its proximity to the European standard, which means we are NOT all treated equally. This blog has numerous articles that provide examples of how important hair texture is Brazil in the context of appearance, opinions of beauty and even employment, so today we’ll just add another to that growing list!
Store is ordered to compensate saleswoman who needed to straighten her hair
Courtesy of Nação Black
The Botswana name brand, of the BSW Commercial Modas Ltd., was ordered to pay compensation for moral damages to a former saleswoman who was forced to straighten her hair after her hiring. The decision is from the Regional Labor Court of the 1st Region (TRT-Rio de Janeiro), who considered the requirement of the company offensive to the dignity, self-esteem and intimacy of the employee.
With cabelos crespos (curly/kinky hair), the woman was hired as a commissioned salesperson of one of the Botswana chain’s stores, in Duque de Caxias, in the Baixada Fluminense region of Rio. According to the lawsuit, in the admission, she was forced to straighten her hair to adhere the “standard imposed by the brand.” According to witnesses, the supervisor of the establishment didn’t accept employees with cabelo crespo, and the saleswoman felt uncomfortable with the situation.
Even the witness indicated by the brand said the company made suggestions as to the appearance of the employees, “so that they follow the fashion trends.” Moreover, the witness admitted that the store did not count in its staff salespersons with cabelo crespo.
In TRT, Judge Enoch Ribeiro dos Santos evaluated that is “acceptable for a fashion company to present suggestions of how the employee should present themselves for work, how to dress in a way to follow a trend, since the appearance in this case is directly linked to economic activity,” but stressed that the company could not “determine or even suggest that the worker change a natural feature of her body.”
The court upheld the conviction to pay compensation for moral damages in the amount of R$2,000, as stipulated in the trial of 1st degree. In the judgments handed down by the Labor Court, resources are admissible.
Botswana, through its press office, reported that “each collection holds meetings with its salespersons to present the fashion trends of the new season.” According to the company, the employee in question worked in the company for five years and received all of her rights. The brand assured it “that never required of their employees any change in their appearance.”
Source: Nação Black